Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center expands June 19 celebrations with special events

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Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center file photo

Tue June 14, 2022 12:25 p.m.

The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center is extending its June 19th celebrations, with events on Monday June 20th and Friday June 24th.

From 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, the site hosts “Underground Railroad and the Seeds on Afro-futurism” at the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center. This event is in collaboration with author Dann J. Broyld and artist Ellex Swavoni, who will not be present at the event, but his art installation will be on display.

Attendees of this event have the opportunity to join Broyld for a presentation, conversation, and book signing, “Borderland Blacks: Two Cities in the Niagara Region during the Final Decades of Slavery.” This event will also feature Swavoni’s art for viewers to enjoy while learning about the Underground Railroad and Afro-Futurism.

Then, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 24, the “Voices of Freedom” event will take place in the green space outside Tubman Plaza. It will feature the Bel Canto Youth Chorus of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. They will perform songs related to the Underground Railroad, liberation and the celebration of June 19th.

Both of these events are free.

Additional June 16 celebrations

The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center invites the community to come celebrate Juneteenth on Sunday June 19th. The place organizes special events:

√ Freedom Conversation Tour: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

√ Freedom Conversation Tour: 2pm-3pm

√ Walking tour of the suspension bridge village: 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

√ Deposition at the Buffalo Juneteenth Festival/Parade: 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center team encourages everyone to come celebrate June 19th. Visitors can choose from one of the offered tour times or take self-guided tours. During the parade, visitors can also stop by the table outside in Tubman Plaza to speak with someone from the Heritage Center.

“Explore Heritage” collaboration with Explore & More to celebrate June 19

On June 17, the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center is hosting “Explore Heritage,” a collaboration with Explore & More to celebrate Juneteenth.

Kids ages 7-10 can experience a jam-packed event with fun coloring activities while learning about the history of Juneteenth and why it’s celebrated.

This program will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center and Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum.

Organizers said: “While the event at the Heritage Center is already full, we encourage anyone wishing to join to register at the Explore & More location in Buffalo.”

The mission of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center is to reveal authentic stories of freedom seekers and Underground Railroad abolitionists in Niagara Falls, and to inspire visitors to recognize the modern injustices that stem from slavery and to act for a fair society. The Heritage Center is an experiential museum that offers self-guided tours, facilitated guided tours, school trips, and numerous public programs, services, and events. Each is designed to broaden visitors’ understanding and appreciation of the Underground Railroad in Niagara Falls and the lasting impact of slavery in the United States. More information can be found on the website.

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